It has never needed to be written, but has likely existed since the days of the stone tablets.

It’s the silent agreement that brings strangers together, banding them as brothers. It is rarely spoken about, but widely understood. The Bro Code fuels boys nights out, guys getaways and evidently AHL team road trips.

The basics of the code between teammates are no different than that which binds schoolyard pals. The rules don’t change. And as conversation with the Marlies began following their first practice at MasterCard centre in nearly a month, the lockeroom was filled with glances back and forth; chuckles without prompting.

Eighteen days on the road, a constant enforcement of the code between men, gave way to a bus load of stories.

Rule #25: Take One for the Team

As one of the youngest on a new club, taking one for the team is almost expected.

The morning the Marlies embarked on their roadie, Kenny Ryan’s stomach decided to revolt. And by revolt, I mean vomit. Straight up puking. The guy couldn’t keep anything down.

As a rookie your place is at the front, doubled up in a seat with a fellow newcomer. A long walk to the bathroom, forcing you to pass the faces of all your mates.

So Ryan, knowing the rules well, exercised number 25. Undoubtedly six straight hours away from the others and sitting alone in the cramped bus bathroom stall isn’t fun. But it was necessary. It’s the code.

Rule #14: Boys Night Out

Even if you’re already amidst a trip that has you through three time zones over nearly three weeks, guys still need a night out.

One of the fondest memories Will Acton had of his first real road trip in pro hockey was the boys night in San Antonio. The home of the Rampage offers a unique district called the River Walk, a stretch of the canal sided by restaurants and attractions. Joined by Simon Gysbers, Jerry D’Amigo, Korbinian Holzer and Joe Colborne, Acton headed out for a night on the town – which evidently turned out to be dinner on the water.

But in typical dude fashion, it isn’t the venue or the food that makes the evening memorable – but rather the laughs. And laugh they did.

Although the details of the jokes were blurry, one has to only look at the tweeted picture of Colborne to get a read on the vibe that night. Wearing a giant foam cowboy hat may very well be included one day into the code, but until then it happily falls under the antics shared in boys nights out.

Rule #27: Pack Light

One suit case, fellas.

The last thing we need is a hotel scene with a van pulling in packed with more baggage than guests.

This comes with the understanding that sacrifices have to be made. Socks, boxers, shorts, jeans, a hoodie and a few t-shirts. Alright perhaps one button down, if you must.

This created a unique problem for the members of the Marlies when October 31st rolled around. The team was in Austin for Halloween, and like any of us, the guys were pumped to take part. But with keeping to the code, space couldn’t be found for extravagant costumes. So they made due with what they had.

Where’s Waldo was a popular choice, as a local costume depot seemed to have an overstock of the hide-and-seek character’s striped garb. Jerry D’Amigo and three others decided that with limited resources the best option was to dress as 1970’s tennis pros.

Although the energetic forward was happy to share of his creative ways, I couldn’t find another of his three compatriots that wanted to be named.

Violation of the Code

This one is easy.

There is no complex system of judgment and discipline. No deceitful string of back-talk and gossip. Punishment for violation is simple; public humiliation.

You see it with guys all the time. Forcing their faulted friend to order the most fruit-filled cocktail at their favourite watering hole; doodling mustaches and targets on the face of a sleeping comrade; or the publicizing of a video on facebook from when you chipped your tooth acting like a fool (this one may just be me).

When D’Amigo outed his three fellow Halloween racketeers without their consent, it was decided that this was indeed in violation of the bro code. It’s rule number one; No Ratting.

So Jerry, the jury has spoken and action must be taken.

For the crime of violating the primary rule of the ancient code by disclosing the names of three teammates which dressed in shorts far too short, socks much too high and headbands that should have never outlived the 80’s, you have been found guilty. As often is the case, punishment must fit the crime. So for the viewing pleasure of all those visiting the blog (which did not already see it on twitter), we post this picture of you taken on the night of October 31st.

Don’t take it personal bro, it’s just the code.


Your buddy,

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